Sotomayor Makes Vocal Debut on Supreme Court

Big business issues to dominate docket

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    The newest Supreme Court member, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, poses with her colleagues at the Supreme Court in Washington.

    Sonia Sotomayor made history Monday as the nation's first Latina justice today, taking an active role in her first-ever case as she asked as many questions as her Supreme Court counterparts, not hesitating to take part in courtroom discussion.

    In a case about how long police must honor a suspect's request for an attorney, Sotomayor was equally as vocal as Chief Justice John Roberts, the Washington Post reported. The case was her first in her first term as Supreme Court Justice.

    Sotomayor's only amateur move? Occasionally forgetting to turn her microphone on before she spoke.

    Business issues dominated the high court's agenda, with cases testing whether the financial crisis has made justices more willing to accept stepped-up government regulation, The New York Times reported. The court this term will also examine the constitutionality of urban handgun bans and juvenile life sentences.

    "It's like when you were little and a new kid joined the class," Stephen Wermiel, a constitutional law professor at American University told The Associated Press. "There was always a little air of excitement or anticipation because you didn't know how it would change the dynamic."

    Meanwhile, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor expressed disappointment over the weekend that some of her decisions on abortion, campaign finance and affirmative action have been "dismantled" since her retirement, USA Today reported. "If you think you've been helpful, and then it's dismantled, you think, ‘Oh, dear,’” she said in a panel discussion. “But life goes on. It's not always positive." 

    Get more: MSNBC, New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post